There are a lot of people I’d like to keep home on Election Day—about 74 million, by last count. But they have every right to tick a sad little box for a bloviating mound of venal earwax, no matter what I think about it.
I’ve also known my share of ignorant college students. I was one of them! I was all ready to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984 … before I noticed that the line was prohibitively long, and so I went back to my dorm to watch He-Man and the Masters of the Universe instead—which, in retrospect, was a much better choice.
But, you know, secretaries of state who oversee statewide elections probably shouldn’t be decrying greater access to the ballot box—unless, of course, what they’re really trying to do is tip the scales in, erm, someone’s favor.
Like Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson.
On March 26, Watson appeared on WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi, to discuss the dire scourge of “woke” college students voting. This earned a stern rebuke from Ray Mabus, a Democrat who served as Mississippi’s governor from 1988-1992.
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, this fucking fopdoodle:
WATSON: “One thing that has slipped by, some folks really haven’t noticed, there’s an executive order that came out about two and a half weeks ago dealing with voter registration, basically employing all the federal agencies, universities, and colleges to register as many folks as they can via this automatic voter registration. So you think about on the coast, we have a hurricane, FEMA comes in, we get FEMA help. On that FEMA application now is going to be an area for voter registration, an automatic voter registration, unless you opt out. So think about all these woke college university students now who will automatically be registered to vote whether they wanted to or not. Again, if they didn’t know to opt out they’re going to be automatically registered to vote, and then they receive this mail-in ballot that they didn’t even probably know was coming because they didn’t know they were registered to vote. You get an uninformed citizen who may not be prepared and ready to vote. It automatically gets forced on them. ‘Hey, go make a choice.’”
Dude! There’s a history here, and it doesn’t exactly make Mississippi look good, so Republicans should tread carefully. As Mabus notes in the above tweet response, this smacks of literacy tests and other vote-suppression measures that have traditionally been used to ensure that only the white “right” people vote.
Also, the idea that Republican voters are studying the “issues” is patently absurd, unless believing Donald Trump was sent by God to shut down that chain of baby’s blood-themed Jamba Juices Hillary Clinton was planning to open in the D.C. metropolitan area somehow counts as an “issue.”
It’s pretty simple. Joe Biden and the Democrats want as many people as possible to vote, on the theory that an engaged electorate is a good thing. Republicans obviously fear voter participation, because they know they’d have to change their tune—and their pro-plutocrat policies—if “woke” people started participating in overwhelming numbers.
Democrats want to expand voting access and Biden’s executive order directs the head of each federal agency to submit within 200 days a plan that outlines how they can promote voter registration and participation.
This would include increasing online and social media information campaigns, as well as distributing voter registration and vote-by-mail ballot applications.
The administration’s push comes as legislatures across the country move to increase voting restrictions.
Hey, I get it: Watson doesn’t want “uninformed” citizens voting. I hate to break it to him, but that’s most of us. But I’m all for informing them. Maybe we could funnel some of that F-35 money into, you know, edumacation. A good, comprehensive, nationwide civics program would be a great start.
Maybe we should have a nationwide referendum on this. The Trumpies can stay home if they want, because that’s their constitutionally protected right.
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